Greens: Government must ‘get serious’ on climate change, as EPA report shows rising emissions

27th November 2017

The Green Party today has called on the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten to 'get serious' about climate change, following a report from the EPA showing that Ireland’s emissions rose by 3.5 % in 2016, with significant increases observed across all the main sectors.
According to the report published by the EPA, emissions from transport rose by 3.7% in 2016. Emissions from the Irish energy sector also rose, seeing a 6.1% rise during 2016. Agricultural emissions rose 2.7%.
Speaking about the findings in the report, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan called on the Government to get serious about reversing our emissions output: “The scale of the climate change challenge facing us is growing by the day. While we are committing to cutting greenhouse gases in the Paris Agreement, the reality is that our climate emissions are once again on the rise.
“The Government says it wants to make the change to a cleaner economy but they are doing nothing to make that switch happen. Our transport emissions are rising fast because we are not funding public transport, cycling and walking. In our energy policy we are continuing to burn coal and peat as if there is no tomorrow. This is going to have to change. We cannot sign up to a green future on the international stage and keep burning everything here at home. The figures released today show the impossible contradiction in our Government's position.
“The EPA is like Cassandra, fated to be ignored by the Government. Every year it records our emissions increasing when we promised to reduce them. Yet again we record a massive increase in our annual greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the government continues to avoid actions to transition to a low carbon economy, as they are legally required to do. Instead, to our national embarrassment, their efforts are going in to trying to avoid fair targets for 2030.”